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From: Ian McCulloch (ianmcc_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-12-09 16:09:36

Matt Hurd wrote:


> I saw another interesting note about GCC and type traits the other
> day. The only probably is that it is a one way door to the GPL world
> from boost due to the GPL licence restrictions, even looking at the
> GCC implementation and implementing any improvements is questionable
> :-(

Why is looking at GPL code a potential problem? I know that some software
companies try to claim all sorts of trade secret and patent rights over
their code, but from a pure copyright perspective, there is not and cannot
be any problem with examining an existing code to figure out how it works
and then reimplementing it. AFAIK it is entirely analagous to, say,
reading a chemistry textbook and then trying out some of the reactions at
home, or even writing your own textbook. Unless you actually plagarize
parts of it, copyright law doesn't care.

Granted, this case may be a bit more complicated if both codes come from a
common source and are substantially identical to begin with. But copyright
law wasn't designed to cover such cases anyway. It might be worth asking
the FSF (as the copyright holder) what they think, my guess would be "don't


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